Halloween Safety Tips
by NTFD Chief Steve
October 16, 2003
Thursday - 12:45 am
closely supervise school-aged
children during trick-or-treat activities.
Ketchikan, AK - Most people think of Halloween as a time for
fun and treats. However, roughly four times as many children
ages 5-14 are killed while walking on Halloween evening compared
with other evenings of the year, and falls are a leading cause
of injuries among children on Halloween. Many Halloween-related
injuries can be prevented if parents
Parents can help prevent children
from getting injured on Halloween by following these safety tips
from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, and the National Safety Council.
1). Go only to well-lit houses and remain on porches rather than
2). Travel in small groups and be accompanied by an adult,
3). Know their phone number and carry coins for emergency telephone
4). Have their names and addresses attached to their costumes,
5). Bring treats home before eating them so parents can inspect
6). Use costume knives and swords that are flexible, not rigid
When walking in neighborhoods,
1). Use flashlights, stay on sidewalks, and avoid crossing yards,
2). Cross streets at the corner, use crosswalks (where they exist).
and do not cross between parked cars,
3). Stop at all corners and stay together in a group before crossing,
4). Wear clothing that is bright, reflective, and flame retardant,
5). Consider using face paint instead of masks (Masks can obstruct
a child's vision),
6). Avoid wearing hats that will slide over their eyes,
7). Avoid wearing long, baggy, or loose costumes or oversided
shoes (to prevent tripping), and
8). Be reminded to look left, right, and left again before crossing
Parents and adults should ensure
the safety of pedestrian trick-or-treaters:
1). Make sure children under 10 are supervised as they cross
2) Drive slowly,
3). Watch for children in the street on medians,
4). Exit driveways and alleyways carefully, and
5). Have children get out of cars on the curb side, not on the
And a few tips about pumpkins:
1). Carve pumpkins on tables, flat surfaces with good lighting,
2). Have children draw a face on the outside of the pumpkin,
then parents should do the cutting, and
3). Place lighted pumpkins away from curtains and other flammable
objects, and do not leave lighterd pumpkins unattended
Many parents overestimate children's
street-crossing skills. The pedestrian skills of children are
limited by several factors related to their physical size and
developmental stage. for instance, young children
may lack the physical ability to cross a street quickly, and
their small size limits their visibility to drivers. Children
are likely to choose the shortest rather than the safest route
across streets, often darting out between parked cars. In addition,
young children do not evaluate potential traffic threats effectively,
cannot anticipate driver behavior, and process sensory information
more slowly than adults.
And, last but not least - Halloween
Safety Tips for Pets and their Owners. According to the Director
of Companion Animal Services, Ms. Jacque Schultz, some common-sense
tips to protect your pet on Halloween are:
1). Don't leave your pet out
in the yard on Halloween.
2). Trick-or-Treat candies are not for pets: Chocolate is poisonous
to a lot of animals, and tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers
can be hazardous if swallowed.
3). Be careful of pets around a lit pumpkin: Pets may knock it
over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk
of getting burned.
4). Don't dress the dog in costume unless you know he loves it.
Otherwise, it puts a lot of stress on the animal.
5). If you do dress up your dog, make sure the costume isn't
constricting, annoying or unsafe. Be careful not to obstruct
her vision. Even the sweetest dogs can get snappy when they can't
see what's going on around them.
6). All but the most social dogs should be kept in a separate
room during trick-or-treat visiting hours; too many strangers
in strange garb can be scary for dog too.
7). Be careful your cat or dog doesn't dart oput through the
While Halloween can be a fun
time for people and pets alike, remember that your pets are depending
on you to keep them safe from the more dangerous goblins and
ghouls that this holiday brings.
Everyone at the North Tongass
Fire Department wishes everyone a safe and happy Halloween. If
you have any comments regarding this organization or if you would
to become a Volunteer, either come by or call us at 247-5521.
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